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VAT & indirect taxes

Our indirect tax team combines the expertise and experience of lawyers, tax advisers, accountants, former in-house heads of indirect tax and ex HMRC officers. From such a broad pool we are able to offer advice which is bespoke, accurate and commercially aware.

Key Contacts

Other key VAT & indirect taxes contacts

It is our view that tax issues and disputes are as often resolved by the right approach as they are by the application of first rate tax knowledge. In that regard you will find in our team, in addition to deep tax expertise, a wealth of experience and insight into dealing with key stakeholders, be they HMRC, senior board level executives or counter parties on key transactions. Many of our team are members of bodies such as the Customs Practitioners Group, the VAT Practitioners Group and the Stamp Taxes Practitioners Group, and also industry bodies such as the Investment Management Association and ABTA.

The team advises on all areas of indirect tax including contentious tax disputes and general advisory issues around corporate transactions, re-organisations, new business ventures and start-ups. We also represent and advise clients in tax litigation at all levels from the Tax Tribunal to Court of Justice of the European Union.

Some of our particular areas of expertise include:

  • VAT and financial services
  • VAT and property transactions
  • MTIC and similar frauds across various asset classes and taxes/duties
  • Mitigation of penalties imposed by HMRC
  • Customs & Excise duties
  • Insurance Premium Tax
  • Stamp duties and similar taxes
  • Environmental taxes - such as Landfill Tax, Aggregates Levy and Climate Change Levy
  • Indirect tax assurance for the purpose of Senior Accounting Officer certifications
  • Transfer pricing and indirect taxes

Recent experience:

  • Acting for Secret Hotels2 Limited, a subsidiary of, in the Court of Appeal in a VAT dispute with HMRC with major implications for the travel industry; Secret Hotels2 Ltd (formerly Med Hotels Ltd) v Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs [2012] EWCA Civ 1571
  • Acting for Carlsberg (UK) Limited and Inbev UK Limited in the Court of Appeal in a case involving the calculation of beer duty: Carlsberg UK Ltd and another v Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs [2012] EWCA Civ 82
  • Acting for a number of large corporates faced with the prospect of a restriction of VAT recovery arising from 'missing trader' (MTIC) fraud in the supply chain.
  • Advising on the tax implications of the extension of the Docklands Light Railway to City Airport including VAT and SDLT issues.
  • Acting for Weald Leasing Ltd in the Court of Appeal and the European Court of Justice in  Weald Leasing (Taxation) [2010] EUECJ C-103/09 concerning VAT and abuse of rights.
  • Advising on the VAT and SDLT aspects of the £640 million Greater Manchester Waste PFI
  • Acting for JIB Group in the First Tier Tribunal in a VAT dispute concerning whether a professional independent pension scheme trustee was entitled to credit for VAT charged by its third party advisers:  JIB Group Limited v Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs [2012] UKFTT 547 (TC)
  • Acting for the taxpayer in the Court of Appeal in the VAT compound interest case of FJ Chalke Ltd and another v Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs [2010] EWCA Civ 313
  • Advising the parent company of a prestigious European jewellery group on the VAT treatment of import/export transactions and the establishment of distribution centres in China
  • Advising a number of city councils on the VAT and SDLT issues arising on major town centre regeneration projects 
  • Advising a number of leading insurers on VAT issues relating to distribution and intermediary arrangements
  • Advising insurers on IPT issues relating to provision of services and products
  • Advising a leading university on VAT issues on partnering arrangement with a for profit provider